Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders, and Cover-ups : Six Decades of Espionage Against America and Great Britain
From noted intelligence authority and author Chapman Pincher comes an utterly riveting book that reveals in startling detail sixty years of Soviet spying against Great Britain and the United States. Using a huge cache of recently released documents and exclusive interviews, Pincher makes a compelling new case that–as he has long believed–the head of Britain’s own counterintelligence and security agency was himself a double agent, acting to undermine and imperil the U.K. and America. Written with the power of a heart-pounding thriller, Treachery pulls the mask from intelligence leader Roger Hollis. As a result, years of traitorous action and inaction on his watch come tumbling down.
Pincher reveals Hollis’s early years, when he was schooled at Oxford, which “educated” many agents, and worked in 1930s Shanghai, a hotbed of soon-to-be spies and Soviet recruiters. Hired by MI5–at a time when there was virtually no vetting of employees–he was a gray presence who rose in the ranks over twenty-seven years while, Pincher suspects, he was allowing the most notorious Soviet spies of the century to flourish.
Myriad fascinating case histories are portrayed here, including that of Lt. Igor Gouzenko, a Red Army cipher clerk who said cryptically in 1945 that there was a mole in MI5 with access to important files. Pincher also provides exciting new perspectives on the most infamous operatives of our time, including Kim Philby and Klaus Fuchs. Perhaps most explosively, Pincher posits that long after Hollis stepped down, a cover-up was perpetrated at the highest levels, and that Margaret Thatcher was induced to mislead Parliament to prevent the truth from coming out.
An essential volume for a world potentially facing a new cold war as Russia dangerously flexes its military and espionage muscles once again, Treachery warns us to protect our society and institutions from enemy infiltration in the future. This is a revelatory work that puts twentieth-century politics and war into stunning new relief.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Massive 620 page book! Pincher has compiled a slamming indictment against the head of MI5 Hollis and MI5 itself. The only think to add is that there is so much smoke and mirrors in the spy game that I cannot tell how true all this is. That said, the evidence points at Hollis being a GRU spy, and that that was the opinion of several other agencies. Worth a read if you like spy books.
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I think my initial reaction to finishing this book is, "Ugh, it's finally done." That isn't to say that it was a bad book, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to most people. The subject matter was incredibly interesting. This was my first reading of anything in depth into the happenings of MI5 and certainly my first exposure to the insidious Soviet threat that they faced. Since Chapman Pincher had been a Fleet Street reporter during this time, he was able to provide a unique perspective on the information that he provided. This book is also incredibly well researched, which is demonstrated by Pincher's relentless drive to proving his belief that MI5 director, Roger Hollis, had been a Soviet mole with disastrous consequences for Great Britain's counter-espionage efforts. Pincher is able to pull information from his prior publications, both as a reporter and in the several books he's written on this topic since his retirement. He also referenced documents declassified by the Russian government about their espionage effort, which further proved a lot of his speculation. Although, there is still no official confirmation that Hollis had been a spy for the Soviet government (a fact that MI5 would probably seek to hide at all costs anyway), Pincher does offer considerable circumstantial evidence that certainly suggests this case. The "Ugh" part comes from Pincher's driven and somewhat repetitive style. There were definitely parts in the book where he restated information that had appeared earlier in the book. Also, I understand that Pincher's purpose in writing this book was to primarily reveal new information regarding the Hollis mystery from newly declassified KGB documents, it seemed very single-minded in showing how this information proves Pincher's case. I would probably have preferred a book that was focused more on the history of MI5's traitors rather then focused on proving Hollis's possible guilt. In short, the book was not bad by any means, but it was not what I was really looking for when I picked it up.
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